#WeMakeEvents: Prague’s Roxy to light up red in global show of support for live music

Nightclubs and other live entertainment venues have been hit hard by anti–COVID-19 measures

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 29.09.2020 15:50 (updated on 29.09.2020)

Prague nightclub Roxy has joined a global effort to urge governments to support live events and entertainment. That sector has been hard hit by crowd-size restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus.

“To highlight that the live events sector urgently needs support from governments to survive the COVID-19 crisis, Roxy Prague joins the #WeMakeEvents movement for the Global Action Day on September 30. Across the globe from 8 pm local time, thousands of venues and places of work will #LightItInRed alongside unique projections, art installations and outreach to government officials and media to raise awareness and drive change,” Roxy announced in a press release.

“Roxy will participate with a silent peaceful protest in front of the venue. All fans, current and former employees, and friends are welcome to join to support this legendary venue where the history of Czech club scene was written,” the club said, adding that participants should wear face masks.

The organizers of the #WeMakeEvents global action day event ask participants to wear red on September 30 and to set their smartphone color to red using an app that allows flashlight color changes.

People can also write to their local government representative to urge action to help the entertainment industry.

“On the day, share our social media activity and post your images and videos tagging #WeMakeEvents,” the organizers said.

In a YouTube video for a previous #WeMakeEvents rally in London, Peter Heath of the UK trade association Professional Lighting and Sound Association points out that many in the entertainment industry haven’t worked since March 2020 and likely won’t work until spring 2021.

Producer and promoter Harvey Goldsmith added that a key problem is that governments don’t understand the entertainment industry.

The topic has also been addressed previously in Prague. The For Live Music initiative held a rally at Old Town Square on July 27 to call for clear rules concerning live entertainment. They claimed at the time that music industry in the Czech Republic employs an estimated 130,000 people, but was then only running at 15% capacity. At that time, events with more than 1,000 people were prohibited, which caused the cancellation of most outdoor summer music festivals.

People sitting on containers at the For Live Music rally / via Raymond Johnston
People sitting on containers at the For Live Music rally / via Raymond Johnston

“The situation affects not only musicians, but also promoters, organizers, sound technicians, and everyone involved in staging live music events,” the rally organizers said.

The rally drew hundreds of people, who sat on rectangular black cases spaced out for social distancing. Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek  (ČSSD)  told the crowd at the time that it was impossible to set out a timeline for when cultural events would be allowed to proceed without restrictions.

Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek at the For Live Music rally / via Raymond Johnston
Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek at the For Live Music rally / via Raymond Johnston

The Czech Health Ministry on September 23 set a limit of 50 people on outdoor events with no seating room and a limit of 2,000 spectators at outdoor events with seating. A closing time of 10 pm was set for bars and restaurants across the Czech Republic.

As of September 18, indoor events have been limited to 10 standing people. Bars, restaurants and clubs may not admit more customers than they have seats. Guests must also wear a face mask at the bar if they are not sitting. more restrictions are expected to come into force due to a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.